May 30, 2013
Monticello announced Thursday that musician Dave Matthews will be the featured speaker at its 51st annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony.
Since 1963, more than 3,000 individuals have been sworn in as American citizens on Independence Day at Monticello.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1967, Matthews became a naturalized American citizen in 1980. Matthews and his family moved to Charlottesville in 1986. He formed the Dave Matthews Band in 1991.
“Thomas Jefferson was an accomplished amateur violinist and an avid concertgoer who once declared music as "the favorite passion of my soul." Music was a part of the fabric of Monticello and we are honored to welcome internationally known musician Dave Matthews to Monticello as our July 4th speaker,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. “As a naturalized citizen and an advocate for human rights, Dave Matthews is an ideal person to inspire our newest citizens as they become Americans.”
Previous speakers at the naturalization ceremony include Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, comedian Tracey Ullman, actor Sam Waterson and Olympian Nadia Comaneci.
The event at the home of Thomas Jefferson begins at 9 a.m. Tickets to the ceremony are free and open to the public. Tickets are available online at www.monticello.org/july4 or for pickup prior to July 4th at the Dominion Welcome Pavilion at Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center.